1920s Berlin

1920s Berlin

The Golden Twenties in Berlin was a vibrant period in the history of Berlin, German history, and European history in general. This "fertile culture" of Berlin extended onwards until Adolf Hitler rose to power in early 1933 and stamped out any and all resistance to the Nazi Party. Likewise, the Nazis decried Berlin as a haven of vice.Clarifyme|date=April 2008 A sophisticated, innovative culture developed in and around Berlin, including highly developed architecture and design (Bauhaus, 1919-33), a variety of literature (Döblin, "Berlin Alexanderplatz", 1929), film (Lang, "Metropolis", 1927, Dietrich, "Der blaue Engel", 1930), painting (Grosz), and music (Brecht and Weill, "The Threepenny Opera", 1928), criticism (Benjamin), philosophy/psychology (Jung), and fashion. This culture was often considered to be decadent and socially disruptive by rightists.Fact|date=April 2008

Germany's liberal Weimar Constitution (1919) could not guarantee a stable government in the face of rightist violence (Rathenau assassination, 1922) and Communist refusal to cooperate with Socialists. The government began printing tremendous amounts of currency to pay reparations; this caused staggering inflation that destroyed middle-class savings. However, economic expansion resumed after mid-decade, aided by U.S. loans. It was then that culture blossomed especially.

Film was making huge technical and artistic strides during this period of time in Berlin, and gave rise to the influential movement called German Expressionism. "Talkies" were also becoming more popular with the general public across Europe, and Berlin was producing very many of them.

Political extremism became common during this time. Both communists (Communist Party of Germany) and fascists (Nazi Party) could be found in Berlin, and politics were a fixture of the culture.Fact|date=April 2008

The heyday of Berlin began in the mid-1920s. It became the most industrialized city of the continent. Tempelhof Airport was opened in 1923 and a start was made on S-Bahn electrification from 1924 onwards. Berlin was also the second biggest inland harbor of Germany; all of this infrastructure was needed to transport and feed the over 4 million Berliners throughout the 1920s.

The Humboldt University of Berlin (formerly "The University of Berlin") became a major intellectual center in Germany, Europe, and the World. The sciences were especially favored — from 1914 to 1933, Albert Einstein served as director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in Berlin, only leaving after the anti-Semitic Nazi Party rose to power.

The so-called "mystical arts" also experienced a revival during this time-period in Berlin, with astrology, the occult, and esoteric religions and off-beat religious practices becoming more mainstream and acceptable to the masses as they entered popular culture.

See also

*"Berlin Alexanderplatz" (novel) and
**"Berlin Alexanderplatz" (film adaption of the novel)
*"Caberet" (film)
*Erik Jan Hanussen
*Glitter and Doom - German Portraits from the 1920s
*List of films featuring Berlin
*Potsdamer Platz
*Weimar Culture
*Universum Film AG (UFA)

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